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21 Retail Statistics: Habits, Trends, Merchandising, & More


What happens when you play classical music in a wine shop? Which type of independent retail store hit a 10-year high last year? How much do window displays even matter anymore? 

We’ve rounded up 21 interesting UK retail industry statistics (plus a few from further afield!), along with proven merchandising facts and surprising scientific outcomes. Read on to find out the answers to the questions above (and 18 more!).


  1. In 2022, the total number of retail outlets in the UK was 317,005
  2. It’s estimated that UK retail sales volumes rose by 0.5% in April 2023, following a fall of 1.2% in March 2023 (🥳) 
  3. Now here’s a stat we can definitely relate to: over 70% of people claim to be more likely to shop in locations which play music they enjoy — although what they want from their shop music differs; apparently ‘women often prefer oldies, pop, and R&B in their shops, while men frequently prefer rock, blues, and bluegrass.’
  4. Sticking with the musical theme, this fact was a real highlight of our research: a scientific experiment carried out in a wine shop showed that classical music influenced customers to spend more money, with the classically-serenaded shoppers choosing pricier bottles of wine.

  5. 29% of sales are expected to take place online by 2026.
  6. Turns out we’re judging shops by their covers. 52% of us won’t return to a store if we don’t like the aesthetics 💅
  7. Research has proven that window displays influence purchases an average of 24% of the time
  8. Pick a channel, any channel! …or don’t, that’s fine too. Two thirds of us prefer omnichannel shopping, with 66% of shoppers saying they ‘felt happiest’ shopping a hybrid of both in-store and online. 25% picked in-store only, and 8% said online. 
  9. A merchandising hack we love: shoppers scan horizontally to find product type, and they then prefer to find the specific product by scanning vertically

  10. Let’s hear it for our bookselling pals: the number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland hit a 10-year high in 2022

  11. 93% of independent retail businesses described sustainability as a focus for the next 12 months
  12. 41% of independent brick and mortar stores claim changing working patterns (namely the increase in working from home) have led to reduced footfall.
  13. Show me the money value; 83% of millennials expect brands to align with their values
  14. Amazon accounts for 37.8% of ecommerce sales, giving it the highest market share of any ecommerce company. 
  15. 79% of shoppers shop online at least once a month. Some of us are on first-name terms with all our local delivery drivers, but that's a stat for another day. 

  16. Mobile cart abandonment rates are higher than desktop ones: 84% of people abandon their shopping cart on mobile, and 72% abandon their cart on desktop. Get those abandoned cart emails scheduled or updated, stat! 
  17. High shipping costs are the most popular reason for cart abandonment, closely followed by ‘discount code not working’. Check your discount codes, double stat! 
  18. 81% of us do some online research before we buy something🕵️
  19. 23% of all ecommerce orders are fulfilled using dropshipping. Take a look at our dropshipping guide for more information on this popular fulfilment method. 
  20. Eye level really is buy level: apparently you’ll capture most attention with products placed 14.7 inches below eye level and upward to eye level.
  21. But what is eye level, we hear you ask? For very tall people, it’s around 1.8 metres. For wheelchair users, around it’s 1.15 metres.


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